JONESBORO (AStateRedWolves.com) Two of the Sun Belt Conference's (SBC) top men's basketball teams this season will meet for the second and final time during the 2013-14 regular season this Tuesday (March 4) night as Arkansas State University entertains league-leading Georgia State at the Convocation Center in Jonesboro, Ark.
A-State (17-10, 9-6 SBC), which has won six of its last eight contests to date, will seek to snap the Panthers' (22-7, 15-1 SBC) current five-game winning streak. The Red Wolves took GSU down to the wire in this season's first meeting (1/16) before dropping a 73-72 road decision in Atlanta, Ga.
The Red Wolves currently feature three players, all seniors, with double-figure scoring averages in forward Kirk Van Slyke (15.5 ppg.), guard Melvin Johnson III (14.5 ppg.), and forward Kendrick Washington (10.0 ppg.). Van Slyke and Washington also lead A-State in rebounding with a 6.0 rpg. average.
A-STATE/GEORGIA STATE HISTORY
• Georgia State leads 2-1 in the all-time series. A-State is 0-1 at home, 1-1 on the road, and 0-0 at neutral sites.
• First Meeting – Georgia State 72, at A-State 57 - (12/9/95)
• Last Meeting – at Georgia State 73, A-State 72 - (1/16/14)
• Last A-State win – A-State 74, at Georgia State 67 - (12/19/95)
• Last Georgia State win at A-State – Georgia State 72, at A-State 57 - (12/9/95)
• Last A-State win at home – None
• Current Streak – Georgia State, Won 1
• Notes – A-State faced Georgia State twice in the 1995-96 season with a home-and-home series ... The Red Wolves claimed a 72-57 victory at GSU in the first-ever meeting between the two schools (12/9/95) before the Panthers posted a 74-67 decision in Jonesboro (12/19/95) ... A-State is averaging 67.7 points per game (203 pts.) in the series while GSU has a 70.7 points a contest average (212 pts.) ... Kirk Van Slyke registered a double-double at Georgia State (1/16) with a team-best 22 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
SCOUTING GEORGIA STATE
• Georgia State has won 19 of its last 20 contests and won its fifth in a row with a 66-55 conference win at Texas State last Saturday (March 1) in San Marcos, Texas. The Panthers are 9-6 on the road, 12-0 at home, and 1-1 at neutral sites this season.
• Sophomore guard R.J. Hunter (18.8 ppg.), junior guard Ryan Harrow (17.1 ppg.), senior forward Manny Atkins (14.3 ppg.), and senior guard Devonta White (11.6 ppg.) lead GSU in scoring and the four have combined for 78.9 percent (1,790-2,270) of the team's points output. Atkins (6.0 rpg.) and junior forward Curtis Washington (5.6 rpg) are the Panthers' rebounds leaders and have accounted for 36.8 percent (331- 900) of GSU's rebounding production. Washington has posted a team-high 67 blocked shots.
• GSU placed four players in double-figure scoring in its victory at Texas State (3/1) led by R.J. Hunter's game-high 18 points and game-best tying eight rebounds. Ryan Harrow scored 14 points while Manny Atkins and Devonta White tossed in 13 points apiece. Curtis Washington contributed seven rebounds.
• GSU is second among the NCAA-I national stats leaders in both fewest turnovers (242) and turnovers per game (8.3 avg.) while ranking fourth in free throw pct. (77.4), and sixth in turnover margin (5.5) thru March 2 games. The Panthers are 31st in scoring offense (78.3 ppg.), 39th in scoring margin (9.5), and 137th in scoring defense (68.8 ppg.). R.J. Hunter ranks 14th in three-point field goals (90), 16th in three-pointers per game (3.1), 31st in three-pt. field goal pct. (40.5), 50th in steals (55), and 60th in points per game (18.8 ppg.). Curtis Washington is 41st in blocked shots per game (2.39) and ranks 45th in total blocks (67).
• Head coach Ron Hunter is midst his third season at GSU and was named to his current position in March 2011. In his first season (2011-12), Hunter led GSU to a program second-most 22 victories and a berth into the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament en route to being tabbed the Atlanta Tip-off Club Georgia Coach of the Year. Prior to GSU, Hunter spent 17 seasons (1994-11) as head coach at IUPUI where he com piled a 274-219 record and was honored twice (2003 and 2006) as the Summit League Coach of the Year. He served six seasons (1987-93) as an assistant at UW-Milwaukee and one season (1993-94) at his alma mater Miami (Ohio). As a player (1982-86) at Miami (Ohio), Hunter was a member of two Mid-American Conference (MAC) championship teams and three straight NCAA Tournament participants.
GETTING IT DONE
• Arkansas State has won six of its last eight games to date and is averaging 74.4 ppg. (595 pts.) while giving up 64.8 ppg. (518 pts.) for a +9.6 points per game differential. The Red Wolves have connected on 45.3 percent (181-400) of their field goal attempts while their opponent has made 44.5 percent (185-416) from the floor in those eight encounters.
TOUGH FOR THE OPPOSITION
• The Red Wolves have compiled a 46-9 record at home (83.6 win pct.) dating back to the 2010-11 season. A-State, which is 10-2 in home contests this season, registered a 13-2 ledger in 2012-13 and was 10-5 at home in the 2011-12 campaign. The Red Wolves went 13-0 in home outings for the 2010- 11 season.
TOP THREE-POINT TEAMS IN THE NATION
• A-State is presently listed 14th among the NCAA-I statistical leaders in three-point field goals per game (8.7 avg.) following March 2 contests. The Red Wolves are 31st in both total three-point field goals made (236) and three-point field goal percentage (38.7%) while ranking 67th in three-point field goal attempts (610). Melvin Johnson III ranks third in three-point field goal percentage (47.9%), 57th in three-point field goals per game (2.56), and 91st in total three-point field goals made (69).
NO PLACE LIKE HOME
has compiled an impressive 269-98 record (.733) on its home floor since the
1987-88 season and has tallied double-digit home win totals in 16 seasons, which
includes a current 10-2 mark this season after producing a 13-2 home ledger for
the 2012-13 campaign. The Red Wolves are presently averaging 78.2 ppg. (939
pts.) to the opposition's 62.9 ppg. (755 pts.) for a +15.3 points per game
margin. Kirk Van Slyke (16.7 ppg.), Melvin Johnson III (13.7 ppg.), and senior guard
Brandon Reed (10.3 ppg.) are A-State's top
scorers at home this season. Together, the three have generated 51.9 percent
(488- 939) of the Red Wolves' points.